12:05 AM Eastern
Not a team that can hit home runs. The Blue Jays used to be able to do that, but they don’t that often anymore, and they just lost their 7th in a row to a team that went 0-for-0 with runners in scoring position. Three home runs, each with a runner on first, and off the Pirates went to their insurmountable lead.
I believe the Jays are now 1-24 this season in games in which they’ve been behind by three runs at any time.
Two transactions to touch on, because I really don’t want to talk about the game other than to remind people who thought that Jesse Litsch was going to the all-star game or going to win the Cy Young that mid-May is no time to judge how good a player is.
1 – Shaun Marcum is placed on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation and Adam Lind is recalled from Syracuse.
Marcum’s injury is very, very scary. The Jays are trying to put the best spin possible on it (shut down for 7-10 days, then a rehab start, then he’s back), but Marcum is going to go see Mr. Tommy John himself, Dr. James Andrews, on Monday. That doesn’t mean that Marcum blew his elbow ligament in Milwaukee on Wednesday, it’s always good to send you guys to the best to get checked out, but it also means that this injury is not just routine nothing soreness.
Lind is back, hopefully to play a whole whack of left field (though he didn’t play today). The last time he was brought up they said he wouldn’t be here if not to play, so I’m assuming he gets the lion’s share of the time in left, and not just 19 at-bats worth. The speed of his call-up relative to the managerial change makes one wonder if there was something about him that Gibby didn’t like. Lind’s presence should mean that Brad Wilkerson takes a permanent seat on the bench, or maybe plays left against certain lefties.
2 – Kevin Mench is designated for assignment and Brandon League is recalled from Syracuse.
Mench just didn’t work out. He was a guy who had mashed lefties his whole career, but came here and couldn’t do it at all. He hit .214/.286/.262 against lefties in close to 50 plate appearances without a home run. There’s nothing else in his game that warrants him being here besides his ability to crush lefties, so there you go. A low-risk, high-reward gamble that didn’t pay off, and bait is cut after just over a month.
Mench was brought in to platoon with Matt Stairs at DH, and that job can now go to one of Rod Barajas or Gregg Zaun. Or, Lord help us, David Eckstein.
League’s return coincides with Cito’s, since Gaston probably took a look at the bullpen and asked for another righty who could get some people out on a regular basis. League had allowed 46 baserunners in 34 1/3 innings with the Chiefs, striking out 32. He may still be behind Brian Wolfe and Shawn Camp in the pecking order of righties in the ‘pen, but now there are four righties to go with the four lefties in an (gulp) eight-man bullpen. It’ll likely stay that way until Saturday, when they need a starter to fill in for Marcum. League is a good test of the brilliance of both Brad Arnsberg and Bruce Walton. He has all the talent in the world – can they get him back to his dominating form of a couple of years ago, pre-surfing lat thing? You know what I think – it’s up to League himself.
Here’s tonight’s edition of The JaysTalk:
Comments are welcome, as always. Remember, Sunday means The Blue Jays This Week at 7:05 pm Eastern. We’ll delve into the Flashback-to-move-forward Friday, as well as hear from Reed Johnson and Shaun Marcum, who answers 10 questions. Hopefully, Dr. Andrews will ask better ones.